NASA has come up with some new designs for the next iteration of its spacesuits and they’ve opened it up to the public to vote on which design will be the final choice. The Z-series started off with the Z-1 prototype but the public will vote on the next phase, the Z-2. They explain thusly:
After the positive response to the Z-1 suit’s visual design we received, we wanted to take the opportunity to provide this new suit with an equally memorable appearance. The cover layer of a prototype suit is important as it serves to protect the suit against abrasion and snags during the rigors of testing. With the Z-2, we’re looking forward to employing cover layer design elements never used in a spacesuit before. The designs shown were produced in collaboration with ILC, the primary suit vendor and Philadelphia University. The designs were created with the intent to protect the suit and to highlight certain mobility features to aid suit testing. To take it a step further, we are leaving it up you, the public, to choose which of three candidates will be built.
There are three designs, each focusing on a different area. The “Biomimicry” suit draws inspiration from the ocean with electroluminescent wire that become visible in low light, just like bioluminescent creatures found in our oceans. The “Technology” suit features Luminex wire and light-emitting patches designed to make it easier to identify crew members during space walks. The final design is “Trends in Society” which uses electroluminescent wire in a suit designed to look like the everyday clothes we might wear in the future.
You can vote for your favorite through April 15, 2014 at 11:59pm EDT.
See more pictures after break…